A New Essay About My Path to Adoption at The Manifest-Station

So it’s been a while since I last blogged. (Okay, it’s been a loooonnnggg while since I last blogged.) But I’ve been wonderfully occupied with getting our new son Yao acclimated and comfy in his new home. And, yes, I’ve managed to squeeze in some writing between 4:30am & 6:15am every day.

Happy to share that my new essay, “With Child,” was recently published at Jennifer Pastiloff’s amazing site, The Manifest-Station. This story of my adoption path to the Yaoster is one of the most from-my-heart things I’ve ever written. Would love for you to head on over there and give it a read.

Here’s the beginning:

“During the adoption process for our second child, I packed on a good twenty-plus pounds. As a number, twenty isn’t so much. Twenty bucks won’t get you far. Twenty minutes pass in a flash. And at twenty years old, most can’t find their way out of a paper bag. But if you go to your local farmer’s market, pick out two ten-pound pumpkins, strap them to your arse, and walk around for a day, you’ll quickly realize that twenty pounds is a heck of a lot of weight.

“Physically, there was no reason I should have gained any weight at all. It’s not like I was growing our child in my womb and had to feed it. But emotionally, for nearly two years as we went through the adoption process, I was eating for two. Emotionally, I was trying to feed this faraway baby in a Chinese orphanage who I didn’t even know, yet who I knew was not getting enough love or nutrition or food or stimulation…all those things babies need. From thousands of miles away, I was eating and eating and eating, trying desperately to give our future child everything he or she needed to thrive until we could scoop them up and bring them home…”

There’s also a moment in which I eat the dashboard of my Suburu.

xoxoxo Kristin

Sleepy Boy After Consulate Appointment_Guangzhou

Getting Our New Son’s Visa in Guangzhou

The day before we were to head to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, the visa issuing system went down. Tech issues. Yep, seriously.

I put a call out on Facebook for positive visa system energy (maybe a first?!) and y’all complied! (Many thanks!)

I’m happy to report that all that positive energy worked! The visa system at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, was up and running this morning! We’re now back at our hotel, waiting for Yao’s passport with his U.S. Visa.

Wait! Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?!

Yes! Yes, it is.

Tomorrow?

Hong Kong or bust!!!

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And finally…today’s math equation: Consulate + heat + humidity = sleeeeepy boy. (And one happy mama…)

Sleepy Boy After Consulate Appointment_Guangzhou

A Long Road to Guangzhou…

Cutest Carrefour baby, ever!

Cutest Carrefour baby, ever!

So…of course Friday night’s flight from Tai Yuan, China, to Guangzhou, China, was delayed. We ended up taking off around 10:30 p.m….and landing around 1:00 a.m.

(curse word, curse word, curse word)

By the time we got picked up, delivered to our hotel, and checked in, it was 3:30 in the morning.

Oy.

We were wiped. All of us. I.had no idea what day it was.

To top off the fun, Yao and I got up early–6.00 a.m.–to join our group for the children’s medical checkup for the U.S. Consulate end of things. A well-organized, but exhausting process. The TB test for the Yaoster was hell. This little guy let everyone know he was not happy with the blood draw.

But afterward we visited Carrefour for necessities (aka chocolate). As you can see, Yao could be the new model for the store.

And so we are a family of four!

On July 13, 2015, we adopted this awesome little guy in Tai Yuan, China. We are happy, tired, and oozing big, big love. More soon!

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Chased Out of Shanghai By Typhoon Chan-hom!

So we were chased out of Shanghai two days early by crazy Typhoon Chan-hom. Now settled in Tai Yuan. More soon!

 

Shanghai, Here We Are!

Yesterday, after way too many hours in an airplane, we made it to SHANGHAI!!!!!! So happy to be back.

Our journey to our new son has begun. Spending a week in Shanghai, getting over jet lag, revisiting old haunts, touring around with Tully to all the places she frequented as a little kiddo, reconnecting with our China roots (and doing a bit of research for the new novel…).

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Baggage claim in Shanghai!

 

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View of the Huangpu River from the hotel. Lovely.

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I so missed the attention to umbrella care!

First glimpse of the Oriental Pearl Tower!

First glimpse of the Oriental Pearl Tower!

Our Last Sunday Breakfast as a Family of Three!

Today, Andrew cooked up our last big Sunday breakfast without our new son. (You can see his high chair is all set up & ready next to Tully.) Next weekend we travel to China for the adoption. We’ll be home in a few weeks to cook a Sunday breakfast for four! We can’t wait! Not even sure how I’ll survive the anticipation this week…

Last Sunday Breakfast as a Family of Three

Happy 2015, Year of “No Mud, No Lotus”

“No mud, no lotus”

This is my mantra as I write this new novel, continue sharing THE ART OF FLOATING, and shift into 2015.

The necklace is a Christmas gift from my hubs. The wisdom on writing (& life) comes from Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk I’ve been following for years.

Happy New Year, all!

No Mud No Lotus

Dream: Fish Stuck on Curtain

In a deep swimmy sleep last night, I dreamed a fish was stuck to the bottom corner of a curtain. Her scales were dried out, and the fuzzy curtain gripped her. She was gasping. I filled a pot with water and immersed her (and the bottom of the curtain) in it. She swam free, released from the curtain.fish

 

 

 

My New Writing Partner…

About six months ago, our pup Gumper unexpectedly died. He was young…just 1 1/2 years old. It was one of those things that you can’t explain. And it was heartbreaking.

After that, we took a doggie break. Spent a lot of time talking with our five-year-old about death and the cycle of life (during which time she switched from unintentionally referring to all graveyards as “junk yards”). 🙂

Then, missing that dog energy from our home, I started stalking dog rescue groups online…looking for the right dog to follow in Gumper’s fine paw-steps.

Two weeks ago, we brought this guy home. 1/2 St. Bernard. 1/2 Great Pyrenees. About two years old. A rescue from Tennessee.

He’s a lovebug. And my daughter named him…BOINGA!

Here’s a good shot of Boinga getting ready to go to the bus stop with us in the morning. (Tully’s bus driver brings him biscuits…oh, this boy is spoiled.)

And, he’s a great writing partner. (Good thing, ’cause I’ve got a hell of a lot of writing to get done.)

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